I graduated, and I am excited to start my new life as an adult. My grades were good all throughout my academic life, but now I am starting to think about moving out on my own. The problem is that I have $500 a month in student loan payments that need to be made.

I’m not able to make this high of a payment and move out of my parent’s house.

What options do I have besides staying with my parents?

Student loans have over 45 million Americans in debt, and it’s an issue that has no light at the end of the tunnel just yet. There are a lot of politicians talking about forgiving student loans, but there will be a lot of lobbying against this move.

The problem with student loans is that you generally cannot even discharge them with bankruptcy. If you lost everything tomorrow, the government will still be knocking at your door demanding that you make your payments.

It’s a very delicate situation, and I am a firm believer that they should educate students on the massive debt that they’re accruing before they get stuck in the vicious cycle of debt. 

But you’re already in debt, so it’s too late for that. The good news is that there are some options, laid out by Great Lakes student loans, which explain the many repayment options that you have available.

Keep in mind that if you work as a teacher or work with the government in any form, there are additional programs which may repay your loans for you.

The other options that you have are:

  • Standard payments be made each month for 10 years and you’ll satisfy the entirety of your loan. This is the best-case scenario.
  • Graduated payments which start off lower and then start increasing over time. The idea is that you’ll start gaining experience and will be able to repay your student loans as you advance in your career. The initial payments often only pay off your interest, and the graduated plan will start to increase payments every two years or so.
  • Extended payment options are also available, but this will make you have to pay off your loans for 25 years rather than 10 in most cases. You'll pay off your loans over a longer period of time, and there is a standard and extended option available.
  • Income-driven plans are also available which will look at your monthly discretionary income and offer a payment option of 10% to 20% of this income, depending on the plan. The plan extends the loan term, and there may be a forgiveness period after 20 – 25 years.

In all of the above cases, you’ll find that there’s really no way to escape your student loans. These loans will last until you pay them off or die, or maybe we’ll all get lucky and the government will finally step in and help. 

As someone who is trying to leave their parent’s home, I highly recommend staying with your parents until you have enough money for a down payment on a house and can confidently pay your student loans each month.

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